01-20-2013, 07:54 PM
#1
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Let me preface this with a few things:

1) I am constantly amazed with the generosity and camaraderie among gentlemen in this forum.

2) I always used to think single edge razors (and injectors, for that matter) looked funny. After learning more about them and using them, I favor them over the dozens and dozens of DE razors I have tried.

3) What follows is a PM conversation with SharpSpine and a pretty much unabridged account of my first impressions of single edge razors and his helping me along.

[Image: SEstoTom_zps1f66afc0.jpg]

kentclark Wrote:
Package received! Thanks, Brian. I think I recognize an OCMM, G-bar and maybe a lather catcher and 8 blades.

I know the OCMM is your favorite and is also the most aggressive. Which do you recommend I try first?

Thanks,
Tom

SharpSpine Wrote:
I'm glad they arrived safely! You nailed 2 of them but the 3rd is not a lather catcher. That's the well beloved 1912. I would say the Flat Top (aka G-bar) is the mildest, the 1912 is right in the middle, & the OCMM can be wild! I would start with the 1912. This is the razor that most SE users praise as their favorite. Then the g-bar & finally the OCMM.

The angle is very different from DEs & so is the sound. The louder the better. If you aren't getting any audible feedback then your angle is probably off. Lay the head flat against your skin & then just drop the handle enough so the top of the head starts to pull away from the skin. If DEs like 30degrees then I'd say SEs like 5-10degrees.

If you find the thicker blade a bit harsh then I suggest palm stropping it to smooth it out. The first shave on a blade can be a little rough but the stropping smoothed it out for me. Then I can get 10+ shaves per blade (though I usually change weekly).

Please let me know if you have any further questions. I did clean all 3 razors with Scrubbing Bubbles before shipping but please sanitize in whatever manner you prefer. Take your time & I look forward to hearing your experiences. And before attempting the OCMM be sure to watch MrGuy's video on how to hold it & shave angle. It's very well done.

Regards,
Brian

[Image: 1912toTom_zps7bde0a4e.jpg]

kentclark Wrote:
Brian,

What a razor! The 1912 is fantastic. I had a great result the first shave (and neat sound) and then followed up with a shave 17 hours later with more success.

Just curious: do you also use injectors?

Thanks again!

Tom

SharpSpine Wrote:
That's great Tom! The audible feedback from SEs is amazing. I do use injectors. The Cobra is like a modern injector, but my favorite vintage is a Schick E2. I used it for 7 shaves straight (same blade, can go longer) before the Cobra arrived.

Don't buy an OCMM unless you want a prettier one. If you like it you can keep the one I sent. If you enjoyed the 1912 & it was easy for you then, yeah, go for the OCMM. You will certainly feel more of the blade with it but it sounds like your quite ready for it.

What DEs would you compare the 1912 to? Or can you?

[Image: OCMMtoTom_zps181d8aca.jpg]

kentclark Wrote:
Brian,

I'm floored again! 17 hours later again but this time with the OCMM with total success! These short intervals are not usual for me and can result with irritation with DE if I'm not careful and/or with certain razors. And my lather was too dry with my second 1912 shave. Suffice to say that this test has not been easy on the SE's but they have shined!

I've been performing my usual razor disassembly, drying and palm stropping the blade.

I am looking forward to my next OCMM shave at the usual 24 hours to see what it really is like. These SE's don't let the stubble grow back as fast.

Can't think of a DE I've tried comparable to the OCMM.

Noticing that SE with the Ted Pella blades can be quite economic if they go around 14 shaves.

Love the weight of the OCMM and kind of prefer the functionality of the TTO over the spring head (on the DE side I actually prefer 3 piece, philosophically). Any other SE I should look out for?

Thanks Brian!

Tom

SharpSpine Wrote:
Tom,
I want you to know just how much I'm enjoying reading your experiences thus far with the SEs. It takes me back to when I first found them. I was quite frustrated that I wasn't getting the shave results that everyone on the forum was touting from safety razors. If I hadn't found my first SEs (a Clog Pruf and 1912 Gem Junior), then I may be back using cartridges. The SEs saved me and I've never looked back, thankfully. I'm glad DEs worked well for you but I'm most excited that you are seeing the difference between the DEs and SEs and how everyone should give them a go. They won't be for everyone, obviously. For a while I thought they may only be for those who can't get a good shave from a DE. Your experience is showing me otherwise which is very good.

If you really want to get some more information on SEs from those with more experience than I, then I suggest you check out The Original Safety Too forum. This forum is only for SEs. No SOTD posts of DEs or discussing of DEs. All SEs.

The Micromatics are the only TTO SEs that I'm aware of, but I'm sure there are some obscure ones out there. If you can get a great shave and enjoy it from the OCMM then there isn't really anywhere else to go. My best other recommendation would be a Valet AutoStrop VC1. This is the only model of Valet that can take regular SE blades (though modified which is easy). The other Valets will need to use the Feather SE blades which have the cutouts on the blade. I've yet to try the Feather SE blades (other than the ones for the Cobra). The next two I'd suggest you look for are both EverReadys. There's the 1914 aka the Little Lather Catcher (easily identifiable by the "Life Here" on both sides of the head). The other is the 1924 aka the Shovelhead which opens backward from how most flip tops do. I've yet to use a '14, but I do have the '24. I find it to be a harsher, less efficient shave than the OCMM which is why I didn't send it along to you. Brian (ShadowsDad) really likes his '24 so maybe mine isn't a great example. I keep my eyes open for another one when I'm antiquing.

Injectors are a whole other deal. Lightweight and feel very mild, but surprisingly efficient. The older versions tend to be more efficient than the newer ones. My favorites are the E2, I1 & I2. The E2 sees 99% of my injector shaves (not counting the Cobra). I think you can get just as good of a shave from a Schick injector as you can from the Cobra. The Feather blades for the Cobra are much sharper for the first shave or two, but then calm down and perform pretty similar to the Chinese Schick blades I use.

I look forward to reading more of your SE experiences.

Brian

[Image: HFTtoTom_zpsae92f9da.jpg]

kentclark Wrote:
Dear Brian,

Still on the same blade with no end in sight yet! I tried the G-bar and found it very smooth and mild. It reminded me a bit of a Weber or like a Slim/Fatboy on 3. I actually had a touch of irritation due to my technique. I felt myself pushing too much because I desired the close shave I had found before with the OCMM. So far, I think I have preferred the razors in order of aggression (OCMM preferred the most).

I have also gone back to the 1912 after just shaving with it for the first two SE shaves. It is quite pleasant and has the most "butter on toast" audible feedback of the three.

A fantastic benefit of SE I never heard of: they shave closer! I am finding there is less stubble to work with even at my normal, 24 hour shaving intervals. The shorter stubble definitely puts the razors to the test and the SE's you've sent me are all excellent.

One of these days, I will need to try a DE razor again to recalibrate and compare some more.

Hope you are well.

Regards,
Tom

SharpSpine Wrote:
That's amazing Tom. I also agree and have mentioned before that the shave from SEs are closer & last longer. Many DE users seem to take offense to this so I don't bring it up much anymore. You should definitely try a face-off shave. Use SE on one side & DE on the other.

Have a great weekend!
Brian

kentclark Wrote:
Brian,

I am getting even better shaves with the 1912 and find it very smooth. I definitely feel less of the blade compared to the OCMM but it is just efficient enough for me.

Funny enough, I am slightly frustrated that I am getting such close shaves...less beard to shave every 24 hours. This surprises me because I always go for BBS with DE razors but am still getting a closer shave now. Also much easier for me with the more difficult areas along the jaw line and on either side of the thyroid cartilage.

I decided that I like the grip (or lack thereof) the least on the G-bar.

I hope it is okay that I have posted the razors back to you after getting several good shaves out of each one. I imagine you may be missing them. Expected delivery is on Saturday, Dec 22.

Regards,
Tom

SharpSpine Wrote:
Tom,

You share this experience with many. A BBS shave from an SE seems to last longer than a BBS from a DE; even though they start out feeling identical.

While the Heavy Flat Top (yes it's official, did you see the pic on TOST of the HFT packaging?) is one of the nicest looking it is one of my least favorite shavers.

I appreciate the tracking info & I can't express how happy I am to have been able to do this.

Thanks for keeping me updated. It's been a blast!

Brian

kentclark Wrote:
Brian,

I have been using a GEM 1912 everyday since I returned your razors and have grown to appreciate its smoothness more and more. It really is exceedingly smooth for its (mid) level of aggression, almost as smooth as the HFT. I do find myself missing the efficiency of the OCMM a bit. Lost track of the shave count on this blade but I think it is over 14. I hope it is okay that I kept the blades you sent and thanks for them!

Merry Christmas!

Tom

SharpSpine Wrote:
Hi Tom,

That's great! Many find the 1912 to be the best SE. Out of the 1912 variants the Streamline/Jewel is by far the best. For me the OCMM is the best easily attainable SE, but I think the Streamline may even be better. I'd love to see a modern made Streamline with an OC.

The blades were definitely meant to be kept so I'm glad you kept them. I also can get 2 weeks of shaves from a single blade. Connaught tends to be the cheapest place to get them in bulk. Even cheaper than Pella.

Merry Christmas to you as well & Happy New Year.

Brian

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 01-20-2013, 08:41 PM
#2
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Holy cow, Tom, this post must have taken you an eternity! Hee hee.
i see it as your tome, no?Biggrin
Well, i assume you are enjoying the SEs.

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 01-20-2013, 09:02 PM
#3
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OK, I'll admit that I didn't ready all that, but I'm glad you are giving SE's a go. I too used to think they were funny, awkward looking contraptions and associated their blades with the likes of box cutters. I now how a deep appreciation and respect for them and find them to be very functional works of art. They provide me with the best shaves and pretty much use them exclusively and wish I had used them when I didn't. Additionally, Brian is a stand up guy...looks like he converted another to the Sharp Side of shaving Cool.

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 01-20-2013, 10:17 PM
#4
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I skimmed it. Neat!

Yup, SE looks weird, but they sure do work great!

Brian, does the Cobra give the audio feedback?

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 01-21-2013, 04:14 AM
#5
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I felt the same way. SEs just looked awkward. I am now confident saying that SEs give me much better shaves than DEs, consistently.

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 01-21-2013, 11:00 AM
#6
  • Howler
  • A calamophile and vintage razor lover
  • Fort Smith AR
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I tried SE Gems early on in my shaving journey, I had a couple traded or sold them all off. Decided that did not care for them at all.

I recently returned to SE have acquired two flip tops and one OC.
This go around is a more pleasurable experience. The shaves are very nice.

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 01-21-2013, 11:14 AM
#7
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Glad you gentlemen are also enjoying SE razors. Sorry, didn't imagine the post would end up being that long. I would be happy to distill it down if that would be helpful!

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 01-21-2013, 01:32 PM
#8
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I never thought I'd shave with a single edge razor.

I believed they looked like fancy ornate Victorian era gynecological instruments and assumed they probably offered an unrefined rough shave with maximum irritation.

After a string of unsatisfying experiences with a handful of high end (mostly stainless steel) modern double edge razors I decided to purchase an Ever-Ready 1912 off The Shave Nook's BST,I figured even if the shave was intolerable,it would be cool to have at least one example of a single edge razor to go with my various (mostly WWI era) vintage Gillettes.

Stopped and bought some GEM Stainless Steel blades at Walgreens and 15 seconds into my first ever SE shave I experienced an epiphany and haven't shaved with a double edge razor since that day.

One of these days I really should pull out a double edge to refresh my memory.The only DE's I really loved for the shave were the early (pre 1921) Gillette OLD's and Single Rings.

Tom.....I hope you leave your original post as is,it's fun to relive the newness vicariously.

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 01-21-2013, 01:39 PM
#9
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(01-21-2013, 11:14 AM)kentclark Wrote: Glad you gentlemen are also enjoying SE razors. Sorry, didn't imagine the post would end up being that long. I would be happy to distill it down if that would be helpful!

If you do I'd keep what you have, some folks might like to read the exchange. I did even though I skimmed it. If you do boil it down, maybe tell folks at the beginning to skip to the bottom or some such for the synopsis. Maybe make it different color text so that they can find where it begins easily? Hey, it's your post, and a good one, I'm just an idea man, do what you want.

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 01-21-2013, 01:43 PM
#10
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(01-20-2013, 10:17 PM)ShadowsDad Wrote: I skimmed it. Neat!

Yup, SE looks weird, but they sure do work great!

Brian, does the Cobra give the audio feedback?

Brian, the Cobra shaves like a wider injector. Not near the amount of audio feedback that many Gems or EverReadys give. I do get some though, and it's mainly on my ATG pass. Mostly it's so smooth & efficient you have to check to make sure there is a blade loaded.

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 01-21-2013, 01:48 PM
#11
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I never thought I'd shave with a single edge razor.

I believed they looked like fancy ornate Victorian era gynecological instruments and assumed they probably offered an unrefined rough shave with maximum irritation.

After a string of unsatisfying experiences with a handful of high end (mostly stainless steel) modern double edge razors I decided to purchase an Ever-Ready 1912 off The Shave Nook's BST,I figured even if the shave was intolerable,it would be cool to have at least one example of a single edge razor to go with my various (mostly WWI era) vintage Gillettes.

Stopped and bought some GEM Stainless Steel blades at Walgreens and 15 seconds into my first ever SE shave I experienced an epiphany and haven't shaved with a double edge razor since that day.

One of these days I really should pull out a double edge to refresh my memory.The only DE's I really loved for the shave were the early (pre 1921) Gillette OLD's and Single Rings.

Tom thanks for helping me to relive the newness of single edge vicariously,great work by Brian in helping to get you rolling.

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 01-21-2013, 03:35 PM
#12
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Thanks Brian. I might have asked you that before. Thanks for being patient with this doddering fool.

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 01-30-2013, 07:54 PM
#13
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Okay, I went back to the original post to take out some of the fluff to make it a bit more concise for those interested.

It would be a shame if every wetshaver didn't give single edge razors a go, they're that good!

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 02-03-2013, 04:12 AM
#14
  • MikekiM
  • Senior Member
  • Long Island, NY
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I posted elsewhere that yesterday morning I had an awesome shave with a PAL SE injector.. I do have a 1912 as well and it's and awesome shave, though it can be too much of a good thing. The efficiency of both cant be denied. I am embarking on an SE journey!

Thanks for posting.. It helps me a ton!

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 02-03-2013, 09:57 AM
#15
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Mike what blades are you using in the 1912?

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